6 Restaurant Gift Card Marketing Ideas to Consider in 2023
You may have noticed that gift cards quickly became a staple for customers. It seems that the modern Gen Z and millennial customers appreciate having the option. When reporting and analytics are done, restaurant gift cards give a lift to restaurant sales.
During the pandemic, brands wrestled against online ordering for restaurants and global shutdown. They advertised digital gift cards that promised safety, security, and customer satisfaction. These feelings went further for patrons in customer loyalty programs who enjoyed additional promotions and personalization.
Today, gift cards offer valuable currency to your customers, helping them dine with you more often. For many enterprise restaurants, they remain one of their most critical restaurant marketing strategies. Ultimately, they advance business.
A helpful element of gift cards remains their versatility, flexibility, and multiple applications. Whether online or offline, on-premise or off-premise—restaurants see gift cards capture more customer spending. In truth, more than 70% of gift card holders will spend more than their card’s credit.
Try our restaurant marketing ideas for gift cards to get much more success connecting customers to your offers.
Key Takeaway: Restaurant gift card marketing brings business to enterprise brands who attract customers through experiences, loyalty, and personalization.
Why Restaurant Gift Card Marketing Matters
You may not already know that the American market spends over $100 billion each year, in part, through restaurant gift cards. As a restaurant owner and operator, a gift card program can help to attract new customers, boost existing sales, and encourage restaurant loyalty programs.
Selling gift cards for your restaurant takes very little effort, especially using complete restaurant management software. CRM and loyalty program integration also turns out to be essential during periods of lost business, helping with customer retention and customer acquisition as well.
Why? Because customers can easily choose to support your business through purchasing gift cards, even without dining in or ordering out. Beyond the clear value of more money and better business, restaurants select gift cards for several more benefits:
- To increase restaurant sales with immediate and additional cash flow
- To capture the 44% of customers trying new restaurants
- To gain priority as a brand with gift card-holding business
- To cut costs and contact with virtual card redemption as contactless hospitality
- To entice customers to join custom loyalty programs
Of course, your restaurant gift cards will only succeed as far as you market them effectively. To ensure that customers see the value of buying into your restaurant with gift cards, follow these six tips for restaurant gift card marketing.
6 Restaurant Gift Card Marketing Ideas for Your Business
In general, restaurant gift cards offer customers a new, easy way to engage a brand—and keep coming back to redeem. Because they launch simply, versatile new avenues to increase sales, restaurant marketing done right has found increasingly effective ways to target customers.
Try some (or all) of these proven strategies for marketing your restaurant gift cards. In the end, customers value the opportunity to save, to dine, and to personalize their experience. Give them that through your value propositions for restaurant gift cards.
1. Sell Multiple Card Values
Initially, restaurants use pricing to attract as many customers as possible. An open, inviting price range can be effective restaurant promotion in itself. Luckily, restaurant gift cards are easily customized to meet the average check—or higher. This way, customers can be encouraged to spend more on their visits.
The more that customers have on their gift card, the more likely it is that they will visit more than once, paying to make up the difference. Stagger your restaurant gift card amounts to attract different kinds of customers for different occasions. Their spending will do the rest.
2. Promote and Cross-Promote
One of the best ways to make sure people see (and consider) your restaurant gift cards includes cross-promotion (even cross-selling). Both online and offline, you should advertise the available gift cards.
From your website to social media accounts, the best practice remains to display restaurant gift cards prominently. In full view, customers are more likely to buy-in when they engage with gift card offers multiple times.
Everywhere you can think of—including posters, displays, and signs in the restaurant—can be a potential area of promotion for your restaurant gift card sales.
3. Email and Text Subscribers
As text-to-order rises, more and more customers are willing to exchange their contact information for great offers. Send updates with sound email marketing strategies to let subscribers know they can buy gift cards quickly and easily.
Alert them on their favorite channels, whether text, email, or social. You can even sweeten the deal with a discount in exchange for customer survey responses. In them, structure your customer survey questions to dig deeper into personalization.
4. Encourage Frequent Gifting
People buy gifts for others, as well as for themselves. So, encourage your customers to “secure their table” so to speak with gift card purchases that lock in good experiences.
You should also make it a point to remember your customers’ birthdays and special holidays. These can be great times to convince customers to share the gift of your restaurant.
5. Incentivize Your Employees
Your restaurant’s most powerful sales tool will probably always be your staff. Servers can be one of a restaurant’s greatest assets in motivating customers with offers, promotions, and incentives. You should encourage employees to win customers over.
Some restaurants train servers on how to cross-sell and upsell with restaurant gift cards and other items. A special restaurant discount on gift cards easily slips into closing conversations as your server offers up the check.
6. Personalize Customer Options
You might have a unique idea for the design of your restaurant gift card. If you’re unsure, look to your customer to decide how you should craft one that reflects the experience of your ideal patron.
In their look, restaurant gift cards should resemble the target customer of the establishment. What trait, flavor, or preference do you want to communicate? Your use of color, restaurant branding, and even messaging on the card should speak directly to your customer. Make every choice and consideration count.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Gift Cards
Restaurant gift cards may offer your restaurant a way to compete smarter in a contested market. From a few dollars to premium pricing, gift cards open a new revenue stream for restaurants.
If you want to make your restaurant gift card marketing ideas stick, check out these common questions about how to market, sell, and profit from gift cards.
Are gift cards profitable for restaurants?
Restaurant gift cards help businesses escape stagnant sales with a tool to foster loyalty and maximize profits.
Studies of consumer behavior show that most customers spend more than their balance on gift cards. This makes them an easy, smart investment for restaurants wanting to pump up averages on checks. It can also have a positive impact on how to get more orders for your restaurant.
How do I sell gift cards for my restaurant?
Once you’ve organized a redemption process, the first task is to make sure every customer knows about your gift card offer. Display the opportunity at every chance you have, in-store and online. These can be table tents, menu inserts, store signage, and host displays.
Then, consistently market, promote, and cross-promote your gift cards across different channels. Overall, you should ensure that consumers know what you offer and how to buy.
How do I promote my restaurant gift cards?
There may be countless ways to promote restaurant gift cards to customers, but to maximize sales, follow these tips:
- Increase in-store and online visibility of gift cards
- Cross-sell and cross-merchandise gift cards with other items
- Motivate staff and customers to engage through incentives
- Promote your restaurant gift cards across mobile channels
- Create special gift card designs for occasions and events
Boost Business with Revolution Ordering
At Revolution Ordering, our commitment lies with enterprise restaurant partners who want to scale, succeed, and satisfy. We use food tech and online ordering software to empower businesses nationwide to enable off-premise ordering in the simplest way possible.
In the process, we help partners develop custom features and ways of attracting new users. To learn more about what’s possible with our help, discover Revolution Ordering today.